Anthropogenic nutrient flows exceed the planetary boundaries. The boundaries and the current excesses vary spatially. Such variations have both an ecological and a social facet. We explored the spatial variation using a bottom-up approach. The local critical boundaries were determined through the current or accumulated flow of the preceding five years before the planetary boundary criteria were met. Finland and Ethiopia served as cases with contrasting ecology and wealth. The variation in excess depends on historical global inequities in the access to nutrients.